Could you please introduce yourself and your company?
My name is Salah Mebarki, I am 34 years of age and I am a consultant in Commercial Strategy and Commercial Deployment at the Entreprise des Jeunes Experts (ENDEJEX) - a consultancy which advises firms in the launch of new products, the deployment of distribution circuits and in sales forces training and support. We are based in Bejaia, Algeria.
When you visited Djazagro, what sectors were you interested in? (Ingredients/ Bakery-Pastry/ Food Service/ Process, packing and conditioning/ Food products and beverages)?
When I visited Djazagro for its 2017 edition, I began my visit in the pavilions dedicated to processes and packaging and conditioning machines. Foreign companies put in a strong appearance in terms of their numbers and the quality of the products they offered.
My task was to approach coffee industry professionals on behalf of one of our clients, a local producer, in the perspective of extending its plant and modernizing its facilities. From the first day, I established significant contacts with manufacturers specializing in coffee roasting and packing and in coffee packaging of all sorts.
At one point I felt overwhelmed by the succession of meetings and work sessions, which we often continued late into the night in our hotels. Because, due to the huge number of participants, the wide range of products exhibited and most importantly the wealth of solutions on offer, it isn't easy to talk to everyone.
I continued my visit in the ingredients hall, as this is an essential part of any proper industrial manufacturer. There were a lot of major international brands exhibiting who constantly contributed added value content to their stand with contributions from industry specialists and experts.
I also had the opportunity to attend several interesting talks relating to topical themes such as those on exporting and international deployment strategies.
But what impressed me most this year was the cookery competition "Trophée d'Excellence El Djazair" with an atmosphere on a level with the most prestigious European culinary contests.
How long have you known Djazagro and been a visitor to the show?
When I was a sales manager for a major Algerian drinks manufacturer, people started talking about Djazagro and the quality of the participants at the event and of the machines they exhibited. The newt year, after requesting an invitation on the organiser's website, I visited the show's 2012 edition at the Algiers SAFEX.
As soon as I entered the reception hall I was astonished by the quality of the organization and the hospitality of the staff. They go to every length to welcome you and guide you in the right direction, in addition to the multitude of posters and signs displayed everywhere and which help you to find your bearings anywhere and at any time.
What do you come to Djazagro for?
Like every year, when I visit Djazagro, I come to discover the latest trends in the food industry, and scout the new solutions in packing and packaging. But my main motivation when I visit the show is this contact and exchange with professionals.
With the major challenges lying ahead of Algeria, import restrictions are becoming more stringent and many products will have to be produced locally, and most of all quickly, to meet incessantly rising demand. This is why Djazagro is the response for future investors looking for answers to their questions in the areas of process, raw materials, packaging and technology.
If you were to describe Djazagro in a sentence, what would you say?
Djazagro is the destination of food industry professionals.